Crime - Sacto 911

Crime Q&A: Any information about 1990 apartment explosion, fire?

Q: I’m looking for the story from 1990 about a man on fire after an apartment exploded and burned down 19 apartments.

Martha, Orange Cove, Calif.

A: You may be thinking of an April 1990 fire at the Town and Country Inn at 2060 Auburn Blvd., which served primarily as a residential motel.

Joyce Lundquist, 41, of Sacramento died in the fire and her husband, James, was critically injured, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee.

Witnesses said they saw a flash of fire and then a man, who was burned, running out of a burning apartment unit on the north side of the motel complex. The man said his wife was inside. One witness grabbed a fire extinguisher and tried to enter the unit, but the flames were too intense.

Some people said they heard an explosion when the glass from a large window in the front of the unit exploded.

The fire broke out about 8 p.m. and quickly escalated to three alarms. Two motel units were heavily involved in flames when fire crews arrived and part of one wing of the motel was reported heavily damaged by fire and water.

Fire officials said they found no signs of foul play and believed the fire was accidental.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy